Mendel's Dwarf

first published by Transworld in UK (1997) and Harmony Books (Crown) in the US (1998), Mendel's Dwarf is Due to be reissued by Abacus in July 2011.

In the final 10 for the Booker Prize, 1997
A finalist for one of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes for 1999
A New York Public Library "Book to Remember, 1998"


"...[a] furious, tender, and wittily erudite book."
The New Yorker

Mendel's Dwarf is a compassionate contemplation of a life that is, in many ways, terribly unfair. This novel takes us to the brave new world of genetic science through the eyes and heart of a man who knows that his own particular strain of humanity will have no place in it.

Behind the walls of a mid-19th-century Austrian monastery, Gregor Mendel carried out experiments with garden peas that ignited the modern science of genetics. More than a hundred years later, Dr. Benedict Lambert, Mendel's great-great-great nephew, is a brilliant geneticist, and, ironically, a dwarf. The target of his research is the single gene that caused him.

Inured to the world's sidelong stares and ill-disguised curiosity, Ben never expected to find anything approaching reciprocated love -- until he met Jean. Weaving the life of Ben's distant Uncle Gregor and Ben's own tender, sardonic, unexpectedly erotic story, Mendel's Dwarf is a novel that questions the meaning of normality and sounds the depths of passion in a world that is drifting ever further from the old moral certainties.




Simon Mawer 2008 - 2018. This website is written and maintained by the author.